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The number of consumers across the country who filed applications for new home loans recently fell considerably, as fewer borrowers sought to refinance their existing mortgages. Informa Research Services, a subsidiary of Informa plc (LSE: INF), suggests that consumers review online rate tables to find the best rates with which to refinance a current home loan.

The overall mortgage market slumped 9.6% during the week ending August 26, driven largely by a 12.2% drop in the number of refinance applications, according to the latest weekly statistics from the Mortgage Bankers Association. Meanwhile, the number of purchases actually ticked up 0.9%, but remains near historically low levels.

The refinance share of the mortgage market fell to 77.8% from the previous week’s 79.8%, the report said.

Consumers who refinance their current home loan with a rate that is significantly lower than their current rate can reduce their monthly mortgage payments by as much as a few hundred dollars. The most efficient way to locate the lowest local mortgage rates in your area is to check online rate tables such as those featured on ERATE.com.

“Accounting for the increase in average points paid, effective mortgage rates were little changed last week,” says Mike Fratantoni, the MBA’s vice president of research and economics. “Refinance application volume declined for a second week from recent highs, despite rates staying near a 10-month low, while purchase volume remained near 15-year lows.”

For more information, visit www.informars.com.

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